Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have cast their eyes over a packed card at Newmarket this afternoon and made a couple of selections each which could get your weekend off to a cracking start.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the pair gave their picks for the headline races on the second day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting.
I actually fancy SANTOSHA. She fell out the stalls on her last start at York and was behind Miss Amulet and Sacred in the Lowther Stakes and never really got involved.
The seven furlongs will suit her, and she won at Ascot when she beat Hala Hala Hala and Caroline Dale. I just think Santosha is overpriced.
This is a belter. I don’t think we thought, when KAMEKO won the Guineas, that he would end up in a Group 2 in September but that’s where he is.
Since then he was fourth and didn’t stay on in the Derby, he was fourth at Goodwood behind Mohaather, Circus Maximus and Siskin. I suppose Circus Maximus and Siskin haven’t really found that form since, but then he went to York where he was no match for Magical, Ghaiyyath and Lord North over 10 furlongs.
Dropping back to a mile will suit him, and I do think he has a big day in him. I’m not sure he had the greatest run at Goodwood and York probably stretched his stamina. Back at a mile where he won the Guineas, he’d be the one for me to beat Benbatl.
Isabella Giles was quite impressive at Goodwood in the Prestige Stakes. She showed there she can handle the soft ground no problem and absolutely motored through it, winning by seven lengths.
But MONDAY for Aidan O’Brien looks a bit classy. She was fourth on her debut at Punchestown and she improved no-end when winning at Listed level at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend. I think she was value for winning a little bit further. The horse she beat, No Speak Alexander, is rated 102.
I think she’ll step forward again. Her dam is Ballydoyle, who was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile – she won the Prix Marcel Boussac and was second in the 1,000 Guineas behind Minding.
I think Monday is potentially a Guineas horse and while Isabella Giles is solid, I just don’t think she has the potential Monday has.
I think KAMEKO is the class horse in the race. He has a 5lb penalty, and I think he was very unlucky at Goodwood. I don’t think he would have beaten Mohaather but he was very unlucky and he would have been second with a clear run. I think that was a good renewal as well. We’ll never know but I think Mohaather was top class.
His connections are pretty downcast about the ground. There’s a bit of rain forecast and they’re saying he doesn’t want it soft – he wants it fast. You have to respect what his connections are saying, particularly with the penalty. Benbatl bolted up in this last year but he’s another one who wouldn’t want the rain to fall.
Rain might just leave it open for Top Rank. Very lightly raced – only had six starts and won five of them. Was beaten in a pretty strong York handicap when third and stepped up to Group 3 company on soft ground the last day and absolutely bolted in. Ordinarily on good ground I don’t think he would have any chance of beating Kameko and Benbatl but with doubts about the ground he might be value against the two of them.
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